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Tires causing loss of “pure speed racing” says Hamilton

Mar 30, 2013, 8:45 AM EDT

F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton believes that the new Pirelli tires are causing Formula One drivers to think more about strategy than actually racing.

“These tires make it very hard,” said Hamilton in an interview. “It’s very difficult to make them last and particularly for me in Malaysia, I wasn’t really able to make my tires last as much as I wanted.

“Generally these tires make it not fun, I didn’t enjoy the race.”

Like many of the leading drivers, Hamilton stopped four times during the race, but the strategies chosen by Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber proved there was little difference between the performance of the medium and hard compound tire.

Hamilton would like to see a return to “pure speed racing” where the drivers can run at their optimum pace for longer stints of the race.

“It’s not the same as back in the day when you had stints where you are pushing to the maximum the whole time, you had tires that would last.

“It’s like you have a hundred dollars and you have to spend it wisely over a period of time. It makes racing a lot different. It’s more strategic rather than pure speed racing.”

There appears to be a split in the paddock over the new tires, with Lotus backing Pirelli over the matter, whilst Red Bull have also spoken out against the 2013 compounds. Without competition in Formula One, Pirelli could be accused of making a tire which is ‘bad enough’ to warrant multiple pit stops.

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